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Meet The 2021-2022 INKubator Playwrights At Art House Productions

Meet The 2021-2022 INKubator Playwrights At Art House Productions

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- INKubator is an eight-month generative process for a select group of playwrights in residence at Art House Productions. Playwrights will meet on a monthly basis from October to May alongside resident director Alex Tobey to share new work, receive feedback, and develop the first draft of a new play. At the end of the process, each writer will team up with a director and actors to present a public reading as a part of the INKubator New Play Festival. The playwrights chosen for the 2021-22 INKubator program include Jake Brasch, Nay Harris, Justice Hehir, Riley Elton McCarthy, Christian Mendonça, and Melissa Toomey.

Jake Brasch (he/they) is a Brooklyn-based fancy-free queer Jewish clown from Colorado who writes for the stage and screen. Proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, The Farm Theater’s Development Workshop, and The LAByrinth 2020 Intensive Ensemble. They have worked at The New Ohio, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Farm Theater, Letter of Marque, Eden Theatre Company, The LAByrinth Theatre Company, The Tank, Dixon Place, Curious Theatre Company, Austin Peay University, Pellissippi State, DSA at the Edinburgh Fringe, The 14th St Y, Planet Connections, and NYU-Tisch. He is currently under commission from the EST/Sloan Project and The Farm Theater’s College Collaboration Project. Jake has written music and lyrics for several films, plays, and podcasts. Jake has long spent their weekends working as a birthday party clown throughout the tri-state area and is currently developing Clowntown, a series based on his clowning travails. Full-length plays include Our Tempest (The Farm Theater, Pellissippi State, Austin Peay), The Reservoir (Ensemble Studio Theatre), stacey (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Salutations, I’m Creative Dave (Alchemical), Wall! (DSA at the Edinburgh Fringe), and Greenland. BFA: NYU-Tisch, Experimental Theatre Wing/New Studio on Broadway. 

Nay Harris is a graduate from Bard College at Simon's Rock (major: African American Studies and Theater for Social Change- a self constructed major combining Sociology and Theater). They're also a National Theater Institute and Advanced Playwriting alum of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center as well as an aspiring Professional Dominatrix. They've long been a poet and now playwright, lyricist and librettist. One of their main goals as a writer is to further alleviate stigmas and stereotypes regarding mental illness in the Black community and to raise awareness and create more access to mental health resources, especially for Black and other LGBTQ+ youth of color as well as increasing media representation of Black Queer and Nonbinary love and joy. They are also an advocate for the safety of sex workers, specifically within the BDSM community and are currently writing a musical (Club Leather Queen) about Professional Dominatrices who are Queer and of Color. They completed a Playwriting 102 course at the New York Theatre Workshop with instructor and renowned playwright Kate Moira Ryan. Among their works are Wounded SkyesGlitter BraceletsTake a Number and WaitWhen I Grow Up I Wanna Be…, and All the Conversations You Wished You Had, But Never Did and The Role. Nay is Miranda Family Fellow, has recently completed Black Girl Theatre Magic's Musical Theater Anatomy course and is currently attending NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program as a wordsperson.  

Meet The 2021-2022 INKubator Playwrights At Art House Productions

Justice Hehir is a playwright whose work explores sexuality, feminism, and the formation and rupture of human bonds. She is a member of Youngblood at EST, a New Georges affiliated artist, and the recipient of a 2021 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. She is currently commissioned by George Street Playhouse, an alumna of the 2020 Clubbed Thumb Early Career Writers Group, and a member of Colt Coeur. Other recent projects include true believer, published this year by Table Work Press, and freeplay, a play about a women-owned dildo company under development through an EST/Sloan Project commission. She graduated from Hunter College in 2018 with an MFA in Playwriting (under the tutelage of Annie Baker and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins) and from Rutgers University in 2016 with a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies and English.  

Christian Mendonça is a first-generation Portuguese-American playwright. He received his B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University, where his bilingual (Portuguese and English) thesis play, American Quality, went on to win runner-up for the Goldberg Play Prize in 2018. In 2020, it would go on to become a semi-finalist in Southwest Theater Productions' "You Should be Writing Play Competition (Male Lead)." That same year, it was also the recipient of a partial scholarship to the 2020 Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon (canceled due to the pandemic). Come Flores, his second play, was invited to the Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation’s Round Table Reading Series. Filomene, his third play, was a semifinalist for Landing Theater Company's "New American Voices Festival" in 2020. He was raised in Newark, NJ, and now straddles the Hudson River.

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Riley Elton McCarthy (they/them) is a playwright, performer, producer, screenwriter, and nonbinary jack of all trades residing in New York City. Residencies include CPH HOTMeat, Elephant Room Productions EERS, Scawwy Howwow Theatre Works-in-Progress, and The Bechdel Group Readings Series. They are a member of the 2021-22 Art House Productions’ INKubator Playwriting Group. Their work has subsequently been staged at The Tank, CPH Queer Theatre Festival, Bøssehuset, Folketeatret, Kulturhuset Indre By, House of International Theatre, Student Theatre at Marymount, Marymount Manhattan College, and The Hudson Guild Theater. Their writing includes the full-lengths The Lesbian PlayIvories, and Southern Bedfellows, and one-acts (it’s the) industry, baby, or the death of a supernova, and a peach grows in brooklyn. They are a proud member of The Dramatists Guild. BA: Marymount Manhattan College.  

Melissa Toomey is an adventurer, performing artist, and playwright. After wandering the West for a number of years, she is currently based in NJ/NYC. She has worked with Luna Stage Company, The Writers Theatre of New Jersey, Premiere Stages, Arizona Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre Center, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Pearl Theatre Company, The Barrow Group, Southwest Shakespeare Company, New Jersey Play Lab, Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival, among other companies as a theatre artist. She creates outdoor theatre whenever possible, most recently with her group, leave no trace theatre. Her supernatural play, the devil smokes American Spirits: a play in ten cigarettes, will be developed at The Tank, Fall 2021. She was once a full time traveller. She once lived at the Grand Canyon. BFA: SUNY Purchase. Melissa is a neurodivergent artist. 

Applications are open to all playwrights in New Jersey and New York who can commit to monthly meetings and have a specific play they are looking to write and develop over an eight-month process. We are interested in pitches for plays that are at the earliest stage of development, and that demonstrate a specific need for why you need to be a part of INKubator to complete the first draft. There is no fee to apply.

Art House Productions is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and encourages playwrights of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to apply.

The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 Cohort has passed. Information about applying for the 2022-2023 Cohort will be released in June 2022.  

Art House Productions was founded in late September 2001 by Christine Goodman, a community leader and professional performing artist. Art House began as an informal gathering of poets and community members in direct response to the tragedies of September 11th. At that time, there were no consistent performance venues for artists in Jersey City to meet one another and share new work. Art House's inaugural event sprung from the desire to connect a devastated community through art and dialogue. Since then, Art House has established itself as a pioneer of artistic and cultural programming in Hudson County.

originally published: 10/14/2021

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